How to Rent Your Timeshare
Updated 3/28/08 by Dave M.
Want to rent your timeshare week out? Don’t know where to start? Don’t know how much to ask or where to advertise or whether to pay an up-front listing fee? Check the TUG Advice section (link at the top of this page) for pertinent articles and read the info that follows:
Note that although you can generally rent a week that you own at your own resort (a very few resorts restrict rentals), the rules for most exchange companies prohibit rentals of weeks obtained through the exchange company, whether obtained as an exchange, Bonus week, Getaway, Last Call, One Plus One, etc.
Start by determining how much rent you should ask for your week.
- Call the resort and, acting as though you want to rent a unit for your use, ask how to find a rental and what the rates are for the week you have in mind. The resort may have a rental program and may be able to give you a $$ amount.
- Also ask your resort for rates for weeks in other seasons or ask them to fax you a rate sheet, showing rental rates for all seasons. You'll soon see why you need that info.
- Ask the resort if they know of any realtors or other entities that rent out weeks. Follow up on these leads.
- Check the Sunday newspaper for the resort area for “timeshare rental”, “vacation rental” or “short-term condo rental” classified ads of realtors or individuals that list weeks available for rent at your resort or at other nearby resorts. Call realtors that have ads, even if such ads are not for your resort, and ask what rates would be at your resort (for your week, of course).
- Next do a Google.com search, using the name of your resort (in quotes if more than one word), and various words such as timeshare, rent or rental, and the name of the state in which the timeshare is located. Mix and match these terms to come up with different sites that might list rentals for your resort. Here, as with some other sources, you'll need to do some interpolation of rates, because (for example) that week 27 on the beach listed for rent will fetch a much higher rent than your week 20 in cooler weather before school gets out. That's what the rate sheet that you get from the resort is for - to make comparisons.
- Search TUG and the other rental sites in this list of rental and resale sites frequently mentioned positively by TUGgers for rentals at your resort.
- Search current and closed auctions at eBay for rentals at your resort, using some of the same search terms as in your Google search.
- Check the Getaway or Bonus week inventory at II or RCI for the location and dates for your planned to rental. If there are such weeks available for rent in the same general area as your resort, you might have trouble renting your week, even if your week is at a different resort. Take those rental prices into account in setting your price.
After you have gathered as much evidence as you can on what similar weeks at your resort rent for, consider that you likely don't have the same advertising clout that the resort and some other listings do. If you choose to use any or many of the sources you have searched to advertise your week, you should be able to get as much rent as anyone else on that site. But if you really want to rent it, price it below what others are asking and definitely at least 25%-40% below what your resort asks for similar rentals.
Where should you advertise?
The work you will have done above should provide all of the info you need to determine the best places to advertise.
To enhance your chances for a successful rental experience, here are three additional suggestions
- Never ever pay an up-front fee (except for a nominal $15-$30 classified ad fee) to list your week for rent. TUGgers' experience is that success rates after making such payments are between poor and non-existent!
- Read the entire article on How to Sell Your Timeshare in the separate "sticky" thread on this forum. The principles in that article for (1) up-front fees, (2) where to list your week, (3) scams to avoid, (4) timely and accurate information, and (5) cold calls from those asking for a fee to sell your week for you all apply equally to rentals.
- There are three sample rental agreements in the TUG Advice section (link at the top of any TUG page) under "Renting Timeshares". Also, Timesharing Today has sample rental contract documents (and instructions for closing your deal) that you can order or download for about $10.
Some would suggest listing your week for rent for the amount of your maintenance fees. Unfortunately, there is rarely a direct correlation between such fees and the fair rental value of your week. If you really want to rent it, offer it at a price that will get it rented!
Here is some additional advice posted by PerryM in November 2005 on one of the BBS forums:
After making 50+ rentals here is some advice to both parties:
1) The most secure way to rent is to use an escrow company that holds the money until AFTER the check-out date. Realistically many landlords will tell you to take a hike – there are so many folks who want to rent and have no problem paying the entire amount up front and without an escrow agent.
2) Ask to get a copy of the reservation BEFORE you pay money. Ask for a phone number to the resort and verify the reservation. Unfortunately the landlord can easily call up and reassign the renters name to someone else. Word processors and ink jet printers can duplicate just about any document and have it looking real. Getting someone to pose as the resort takes just a throw away cell phone. So if someone wanted to scam a bunch of folks out of a lot of money wouldn’t be hard.
3) Get a rental agreement that spells out what’s involved. However, if something goes wrong are you going to hire a lawyer at $200 per hour to fight a $1,000 rental – of course not.
4) Pay with PayPal – no lost checks in the mail and proof of payment. Can use credit card to make time payments.
1) Get 100% of the money up front – there are so many flakey renters out there who change their mind that taking a deposit and finding out 30 days before check-in that the renter is not going forward means a loss of a lot of money.
2) Get a rental agreement and make sure that the person supplies a copy of their driver’s license and prove that they are at least 21 years old. Many resorts require the person checking in to be at least that old.
3) Get a 10% security deposit returnable 14 days after check-out. You would be surprised how folks want that deposit back and don’t trash the place.
4) Call the resort 14 days before check-in and double check the reservation and ask for special handling like no smoking rooms or rooms that face a certain direction, etc.
5) Call the resort 1 day after check-out and confirm that there were no problems. The renter has to put up a credit card when checking in but if they max out and there is damage the resort will come calling on you. Find out before you return the security deposit.
6) Always ask for PayPal payment – the renter thinks he has some protection when paying with PayPal and Credit Card – the truth is he does not; but he feels much better and you get paid instantly. The 4% process fee is small compared with a renter who sends a Cashier’s Check AND the carbon copy and then it gets lost in the mail – what a disaster – you don’t get paid and he thinks you stiffed him and he has NO proof of payment and must go thru a 90 day refund period with the bank and put up a bond.
I’ve never had a renter request escrow and would not go along with it if they did. Folks so scared always turn out to be a pain.